Tuesday, October 4, 2011

my life is like the oregon trail...

yes it was very likely that justin died. hence why he has not written a blog post in almost two months. haha but sorry. it's just been hectic, bad timing, lack of internet, a series of interesting maladies. with ramadan come and gone, it is back to my normal village life in the midst of rainy season number 2. the rains have been extremely late, tricking many farmers into seeding too early. i hope crop yield will be ok this year. otherwise, more sitting around for men. how exciting...

so what has been going on in my life? nothing special. just living the quiet village life. sometimes my cell phone reception goes out. and theres no electricity. so im completely cut off from the rest of the world. it's scary. this bubble. makes me feel forgotten... makes it feel as though time has stopped and im stuck, in an interesting era...

but it also got me thinking how much my life now resembles that computer game, the oregon trail. i start off with the occupation of a peace corps volunteer and have all these things that i have purchased and brought with me. we start on our journey, and sometimes, come across rivers that we have to forge...



the water is... not the cleanest. hence the weird skin infections and what not.
then there are the sicknesses:
justin loses one day to pink eye (actually it was more like 4 days...)
justin loses one day to bed bugs. you cant really see it, but it's that think shiny white/pearl looking thing. they were everywhere. explained the occasional body itches... (gross)



justin loses a few days to amoebas. im thinking it's happened again. the stomach cramps are a definite indication that something is going on...
justin loses a few more days to allergies. you know, the usual.
there's more but i'll leave those stories for when i get back. a bar with a wooden table, some beers, a man can dream...

lose another day to storms...



rainy season is kinda sucky because the people that own the well dont turn on the pump everyday like they do during the dry season. so it becomes a matter of which family owns the most water-holding containers and can last the longest? the losers end up bringing large empty jugs to neighboring villages some 3 or so miles away just to get water. but then you can also collect rain water. which tastes funky, being that it's run off from tin roofs. rusty tin roofs. the water tastes metallic, but i guess im used to it. any health issues i need to worry about? lol



but really what solidified this idea of traversing the wild wild west were the horses and charrettes. inter-village football competitions have started and how else do you travel from village to village except on horse back or horse carts? football season is fun. makes you proud of your village. gives you something to look forward to.








but like i said, it's the traveling that makes me think im a live action figure in the oregon trail. kinda like sims, wild wild west style.






we're on a prarie! we're nomads!



work has pseudo stalled because people would rather be working in the fields than sitting down listening to random discussions about vaccinations and whatnot. but once the fields are cleared, i want to start HIV/AIDS work and hopefully get region-wide testing going. plus, my grant money came in for the garden so look forward to some garden transformations in the next few months...

that mural that i made did something funny. i didn't buy brown paint because i was being too cheap so i just mixed red and green, which works perfectly well, usually. except for some reason, it seemed as if the red just evaporated away. leaving all my human figures green! so i had to go back to buy brown paint to redo them. and also to give them faces this time...



so the final product looks pretty decent now. informative. vibrant. i think the message gets across:
breastfeed!
weigh babies!
sleep under a mosquito net!
get vaccinations!
visit the health post...



also other lesson: now that i've given up on gardening, things just grow! the less i take care of things, the better they look. like my moringa bed for example. look how lush that is. my sister took all the leaves off and cooked a delicious millet and sauce meal. things just taste fresh. 



but yeah, so i spend the majority of my time, hanging out... with children and such. they're fun and cute and great. really wanna bring some kiddies back...




also transplanting trees, you know, some actual work...


but lately, there have been puppies galore in my village. and it's terrible because the children beat and torture them, no matter how many times i tell them not to. the puppies all scream when i initially approach thinking that i am another fellow human being ready to beat them but they learn that im really nice and all i want to do is pet them and play. they now wag their tails when they see me. i really want to take some to our regional house but we already have two dogs and it's much more than we can handle.




we have however acquired a new kitty. it's growing to be a tough cat. maybe it can deal with our mice problems some day...



so that's been life, pretty much. living day to day, wondering what new surprises and illnesses await me the next day...

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